Modern hiring practices, with the help of technology, have made once-tedious recruitment processes more efficient for both recruiters and applicants. However, tech developments have also inadvertently opened up new avenues for scammers, targeting individuals seeking work.
Job scams are on the rise, with more than 16,000 cases in the first quarter of 2022 alone—and those are only the reported ones.
Manila Recruitment hasn’t been safe from scammers, either. In late 2022, criminals used our name and website to offer fraudulent work on numerous platforms, including Telegram and WhatsApp.
If you’ve been contacted by someone claiming from our company on said messaging apps, we can categorically say that you’ve dealt with an imposter. Our recruiters do not use Telegram or WhatsApp as the first point of contact with our candidates.
While we’re doing our best to mitigate these issues, swindlers find new ways to use our name for criminal activity.
Given this rapidly growing problem, companies and recruitment agencies must strengthen their security practices and empower applicants to detect and verify scams and frauds. With that in mind, let’s discuss common recruitment scams to watch out for so that you can deal with them appropriately.
5 Common Types of Job Scams (and How They Work)
Understanding how job scams work can help you identify them and protect your information from theft.
1. Fake postings on legit job boards
While most job boards are legitimate, the job postings made by users may not be. Criminals typically post fake job ads that require applicants to send sensitive information or fees to get accepted, which shouldn’t happen in official settings. Fraudsters often pick these platforms since they provide visitors with an exploitable sense of security.
2. Fake employer website or social media pages
Scammers can invent companies with matching websites and social media pages to target unknowing job seekers. They might be challenging to spot, as some sites would appear professional. In effect, people who have not done a background check on the company can fall for these tactics.
3. Impostors pretending to be legitimate companies
Instead of creating fake companies, some fraudsters will impersonate reputable brands to take advantage of job seekers. Naturally, they will seem like the real deal at first glance, but a closer inspection will reveal fake details, fishy URLs, personal emails, or unprofessional writing, indicating they’re bogus.
Take Manila Recruitment’s situation, for example. Scammers have been pretending to be our recruiters by attaching our company name and website to fraudulent messages. Since we’re a well-established recruitment firm in the Philippines, unaware job seekers may believe the fake offers and fall victim to these schemes.
For the record, all our recruiters use an email address with the domain “@manilarecruitment.com.” If the “recruiter” you are talking with uses a generic @gmail.com or @yahoo.com email address, they are not legitimate.
4. Phishing emails
Phishing involves scammers contacting their victims via email or other messaging channels and pretending to be from established companies. They typically request sensitive information to access your accounts, acting like they need those for hiring purposes.
If an applicant receives suspicious emails or chats from an agent claiming to be from Manila Recruitment, chances are they are phishing schemes. Job seekers mustn’t provide any information unless the agent confirms their legitimacy and uses an email address with the domain “manilarecruitment.com.”
5. Pyramid schemes and money laundering
Watch out for pyramid schemes looking for new “recruits” they force to invest while promising high returns, ultimately leading to financial losses. Also, criminals involved in illegal activity may hide dirty money by offering jobs involving handling large sums of money. Remember, you can face legal consequences despite being unknowledgeable of these activities.
How to Spot a Fake Recruiter: 7 Signs to Look For
What are the warning signs of job scams? Here are some red flags to look for to protect yourself from them.
1. Presents a too-good-to-be-true job offer
It’s essential to be realistic when looking for work. If the details sound too good to be true, it probably is. A job with a hefty salary that doesn’t correspond with the workload is probably a scam, so steer clear.
Fake job offers from a scammer posing as a Manila Recruitment agent may try to bait applicants with simple tasks, like adding Google reviews or watching YouTube videos, in exchange for instant payouts. However, our firm only offers full-time executive and technical placements in the Philippines.
2. Requests for (too many) personal information
Legitimate companies and recruiters generally require a resume, IDs, and other documents to verify your identity. If they ask for more, such as your credit card details, it’s a red flag.
3. Requires fees and other types of payments
Job applications don’t require charges. Apart from cash, scammers may also ask you for retail gift cards that are not refundable. Block recruiters if they ask for any amount, even for training.
4. Uses non-official communication channels
Scammers often use informal communication channels like Telegram or WhatsApp to hide their activities and true identities. Ensure the recruiter you’re communicating with uses email since it provides systemic conversation histories valuable for scam complaints.
Legitimate Manila Recruitment agents formally present themselves via text message or calls. We never use WhatsApp, Telegram, or other informal communication channels as the first point of contact with candidates.
5. Has a generic email address
Legitimate companies typically use paid corporate emails, like “email@example.com,” for recruitment. Meanwhile, generic email addresses, such as “firstname.lastname@example.org,” indicate that the message came from a personal account, which is often a red flag.
6. Has poor grammar and spelling
A simple way to check if a recruiter or job listing is genuine is if it has near-perfect grammar and spelling. Conversely, most scammers don’t have professional backgrounds, so their posts and messages usually include grammatical and typographical errors.
7. Doesn’t show up in online searches
Legitimate companies have websites that appear on search results, but fraudsters usually have none. Even if they do, search engines won’t list sites that appear to be counterfeits of reputable ones. So, review the link the scammer gave you; make sure there are no misspellings or that it doesn’t redirect you to a risky website.
Scammers may still use legitimate company websites in their message to increase their credibility; for instance, they’ve used Manila Recruitment’s web pages to look credible when contacting victims. Hence, job seekers should inspect if the agent is legitimate by checking our official channels or if their messages come from a “manilarecruitment.com” address.
What to Do When You Encounter a Recruitment Scam
Did you spot a scammer, or were you a victim of one? Here’s a rundown of the following steps you should take.
When you receive job offers and emails from scammers, the best approach is not to give them attention. Giving direct warnings or retaliating might make matters worse, so keep your cool and move on to the next step.
Reach out to the legitimate company
Report impersonators who are pretending to be reputable companies to legitimate ones. They can file reports with the web or email hosting services to remove the scammers’ websites and email addresses and protect other applicants from becoming victims.
Report the scam to the relevant authorities
It’s also crucial to report scams and fraudulent activities to law enforcement. The PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group and NBI Anti-Fraud and Action Division are responsible for investigating job scams in the Philippines. They may ask for screenshots, emails, or chat histories to document the fraud and harm caused, so record and save as much evidence as possible.
Keep Your Job Search Safe
While looking for a job may be exhilarating, keeping your guard is essential. Scammers are lurking everywhere and looking for new targets, but keeping the above points in mind can help you stay safe while looking for work.
We can help you find remote and offshore experts for your company. Manila Recruitment is a leading recruitment firm in the Philippines that can give you access to top professionals who can elevate your business without fail. Finally, take immediate action if you suspect you’ve been talking to a Manila Recruitment impersonator. Contact us to resolve the issue so we can provide legitimate, tried-and-tested headhunting services.